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Baudelaire, Charles(-Pierre)  

Nicole Savy

(b Paris, April 9, 1821; d Paris, Aug 31, 1867).

French writer and critic. He was brought up to love painting and from a young age was interested in aesthetics and art criticism. This aspect of his work remained little known for years, but its quality and its importance for the development of his poetry and for the development of modernism were later recognized.

Baudelaire’s first piece of criticism, the somewhat timid Salon de 1845, was succeeded by the Salon de 1846 and articles on the Exposition Universelle of 1855 (Le Pays, Le Portefeuille). After he had achieved notoriety with the publication of his most important volume of poetry, Les Fleurs du mal (Paris, 1857), he continued to write occasional pieces on the visual arts, for example on the ‘Salon de 1859’ (Revue française), and ‘Le Peintre de la vie moderne’ (a series in Figaro), which was a study of Constantin Guys, as well as articles on Delacroix, the painter who dominated all of Baudelaire’s writing on art. Initially these articles were not widely published....

Article

Berenson, Bernard  

Margaret Moore Booker

(b Butrimonys, Alytus County, Lithuania, June 26, 1865; d Settignano, Italy, Oct 6, 1959).

American art historian, critic, and connoisseur. Berenson was perhaps the single most influential art historian in the USA for much of the 20th century. As the leading scholar and authority on Italian Renaissance art, his opinion greatly influenced American art museums and collectors, whom he guided in the purchase of many important works of art. His pupils and disciples became the curators of many of the world’s great museums. His dealings with art galleries also made him a highly controversial figure.

Born to Albert and Julia Valvrojenski in Lithuania, Berenson immigrated to Boston, MA, with his family in 1875, at which time his surname was changed to Berenson. Later called ‘BB’ by friends and family, he dropped the ‘h’ from his first name around 1915. Jewish by birth, he converted to Christianity and was baptized in 1885. He attended Boston Latin School, Boston University, and finally Harvard University, where he studied under Charles Eliot Norton and received a BA in ...

Article

Bötticher, Karl  

Michael J. Lewis

(Gottlieb Wilhelm)

(b Nordhausen, May 29, 1806; d Berlin, June 19, 1889).

German architect, theorist, teacher and writer. He entered the Berlin Bauakademie in 1827 and soon became a leading figure in the new Architekten-Verein zu Berlin (see Berlin §II 3.). Like many of his generation, he was much influenced by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and had a youthful fascination with the Gothic. His first book was a study of medieval timber architecture. He was particularly concerned with the relationship between style and construction and he soon began to apply this analysis to Greek architecture. The result was his monumental Die Tektonik der Hellenen (1843–51). The Rundbogenstil architect Heinrich Hübsch had already suggested that the forms of ancient Greek architecture were based on stone construction and not derived from timber antecedents. Bötticher expanded this insight into a vast system that explained all of Greek architecture in structural terms. For him, Greek architecture was rational building, its forms corresponding absolutely to the requirements of the stone used in its post and lintel construction. This constituted a major upheaval in the interpretation of Classical architecture, insisting that its elements were sanctioned neither by their historical pedigree nor by Platonic perfection of form, but rather by immutable physical and material laws. Bötticher briefly considered synthesizing Greek and Gothic structural principles to form a new style, but he quickly abandoned the idea, arguing that it would be superficial. In a prophetic ...

Article

Croce, Benedetto  

Colin Lyas

(b Pescasséroli, Abruzzi, Feb 25, 1866; d Naples, Nov 20, 1952).

Italian historian, critic, philosopher and statesman. He began his intellectual career as a historian, and his concern for whether history is an art or a science led him to inquire into the nature of art and to produce, in 1902, his first major work in aesthetics, Estetica come scienza dell’espressione e linguistica generale. Here he distinguished between the ‘intuitive’ knowledge of things in their concrete particularity and the ‘logical’ knowledge of general concepts. Croce proposed that human beings passively receive bombardments of sensory stimuli and, using the faculty of intuition, produce from them objects he called ‘intuitions’ or ‘representations’, which give a particular form to otherwise unintelligible stimuli. A painter, using this faculty of intuition or representation, gives the otherwise inchoate welter of stimuli produced by, for example, a moonlit countryside, the particular form of a painting, which is an intuition or representation of that countryside. Intuiting the scene involves giving articulate expression to the otherwise incoherent mass of stimuli received on such occasions, and so intuition and expression are identical. All uses of language to express thoughts and feelings, as well as the visual arts or music, are acts of intuition, which master the flood of sensations to which we are continually subjected....

Article

Durand, Jean-Nicolas-Louis  

Werner Szambien

(b Paris, Sept 18, 1760; d Thiais, Dec 31, 1834).

French architect, teacher and writer. He was one of the most influential teachers of his time, and his radically rationalist approach, which emphasized priority of function and economy of means, was expressed in analytical writings that remained popular into the 20th century. He studied under Pierre Panseron (fl 1736) and from 1776 in the office of Etienne-Louis Boullée. He also took courses with Julien-David Le Roy at the Académie d’Architecture and participated in competitions under the guidance of Jean-Rodolphe Perronet. He twice came second in the Prix de Rome: in 1779 for a museum and in 1780 for a school. During the 1780s he worked as a draughtsman for Boullée and for the engraver Jean-François Janinet. In 1788 construction began in the Rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière, Paris, of his Maison Lathuille, a building with Néo-Grec decoration but with a layout characterized by its extreme simplicity. About 1790 he executed a series of drawings entitled ...

Article

Endell, August  

Gisela Moeller

(b Berlin, April 12, 1871; d Berlin, April 13, 1925).

German architect, designer, writer and teacher. After moving to Munich in 1892, he abandoned his plan to become a teacher, deciding on a career as a freelance scholar. He then studied aesthetics, psychology and philosophy, being particularly influenced by the lectures of the psychologist Theodor Lipps. He also studied German literature, art and music. In 1895 he intended to write a doctorate on the theme of ‘The Construction of Feeling’. In spring 1896 he met Hermann Obrist, who persuaded him to abandon his proposed academic career and become a self-taught artist. As well as book illustrations and decorative pieces for the art magazines Pan and Dekorative Kunst, he produced decorative designs for wall reliefs, carpets, textiles, coverings, window glass and lamps. In 1897 he designed his first furniture for his cousin, the historian Kurt Breysig. His first architectural work, the Elvira photographic studio in Munich (1896–7; destr. 1944), decorated on its street façade by a gigantic, writhing dragon, was a quintessential work of ...

Article

Fry, Roger  

Frances Spalding

(Eliot)

(b London, Dec 14, 1866; d London, Sept 9, 1934).

English theorist, critic and painter. He was educated at Clifton College, Bristol, and King’s College, Cambridge, where he studied natural sciences. He was descended on both sides of his family from seven generations of Quakers, but he abandoned Christian beliefs on reaching adulthood. The legacy of Quakerism, however, continued to influence the direction of his career in his willingness to stand apart from mass opinion and from established authority, and in his distrust of all display.

On leaving Cambridge, he trained as a painter, first under Francis Bate (1853–1950), then for two months at the Académie Julian in Paris. He regarded the activity of painting as central to his life and continued to paint and exhibit throughout his career. Although critical opinion has never been high, his art stands out consistently for its intellectual clarity of construction. However, Fry also soon established a reputation as a scholar of Italian art. He made his first visit to Italy in ...

Article

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von  

Colin Lyas

(b Frankfurt am Main, Aug 28, 1749; d Weimar, March 22, 1832).

German writer, statesman, scientist, historian and theorist. By virtue of his prodigious literary output, his writings on art (notably in collaboration with Friedrich Schiller), his patronage as chief minister of Weimar, the extraordinary variety of his interests, and his sheer longevity, he had a profound influence on European culture.

Goethe began writing in the late 1760s, when the Romantic reaction against Neo-classicism had already started. The Rococo view of the Classical heritage, which stressed the formal elegance and rationality of the Greeks, was being dismantled by such writers as Johann Gottfried Herder, Johann Joachim Winckelmann and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, all of whom influenced Goethe. Herder’s study of folk art, Homer and the Bible concurred with Goethe’s celebration of Shakespeare—in Rede zum Shäkespears Tag (1771)—and of Gothic art—in Von deutscher Baukunst (1772)—in acknowledging the role of passion and daemonic energy in art. These elements, it was claimed, were also present in Classical art; this contrasted with the Neo-classical emphasis on its rationality. This period of Goethe’s life produced such characteristically Romantic poems as ...

Article

Herbart, Johann Friedrich  

Michael Podro

(b Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, May 4, 1776; d Göttingen, Niedersachsen, Aug 14, 1841).

German philosopher and psychologist. His philosophy was based on a development and criticism of that of Immanuel Kant. At its centre was a psychological theory about the satisfaction and dissatisfaction felt by the mind in bringing coherence to its perceptions. This was both an aesthetic theory of mental development and a theory of aesthetics. His theory was fundamental to subsequent formalist aesthetic theories of the 19th century. The most general objective of his theory was to construct an account of mental development that avoided the extreme positions of John Locke and Gottfried Wilhelm von Liebniz. He opposed the former’s notion that the mind was a structureless tabula rasa that developed ideas from the sensory data received from outside. He also rejected Leibniz’s view that the mind develops from within itself and sought to unite these two theories without resorting to Kant’s faculty psychology. Herbart conceived of mental life as the emergence and interaction of experiences, which he thought of as initially being sensory presentations (...

Article

Herder, Johann Gottfried  

Howard Caygill

(b Mohrungen, Aug 25, 1744; d Weimar, Dec 18, 1803).

German theorist. He was the most consistent and influential critic of German Enlightenment philosophy and aesthetic theory. His impeccable Enlightenment pedigree as a student of Kant at the University of Königsberg in the early 1760s and his acquaintance with Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert during his visit to Paris in 1769 were combined with a friendship and sympathy for the person and works of Johann Georg Hamann and other professed opponents of the Enlightenment. His insight into the strengths and weaknesses of the Enlightenment enabled him to offer an alternative theoretical basis for the work of the younger Sturm und Drang writers of the 1770s, headed by Goethe. In 1776 he was appointed at Goethe’s behest to the post of General Superintendent of the Lutheran Church in Weimar, where he remained until his death.

Although Herder published in several fields, ranging from the philosophy of language and epistemology to aesthetics and theology, all he wrote revolved around a critique of the ahistorical character of the German Enlightenment. His thought combines two main elements: the recognition that reason is grounded in sentiment, a position later described as ‘metacritical’; and the perception that the grounding of reason is the product of a specific history, and cannot be understood apart from it....

Article

Hübsch, (Gottlieb) Heinrich  

Claudia Bölling

(Christian)

(b Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Feb 9, 1795; d Karlsruhe, April 3, 1863).

German architect, architectural historian, theorist, writer and teacher. He was the son of a local postmaster and was educated in Darmstadt. In 1813 he entered the University of Heidelberg to read philosophy and mathematics. There he came under the influence of Friedrich Creuzer (1771–1858), a pioneer in the field of historiography and the empirical study of history; Hübsch later used Creuzer’s theories in his approach to architectural history. After only two years Hübsch decided to study architecture under Friedrich Weinbrenner in Karlsruhe, perhaps influenced to change direction by Georg Moller, whom he had met in Darmstadt. Hübsch stayed in Karlsruhe for two years and then between 1817 and 1820 made study trips to Italy, Greece and Constantinople. Throughout his life he continued to make similar journeys all over Europe, particularly to Italy, France and England. During 1823 and 1824 he again stayed in Rome, where he mixed with the German expatriate circles and particularly with the Nazarenes. In ...

Article

Knight, Richard Payne  

David Rodgers

(b Wormsley Grange, Hereford & Worcs, Feb 11, 1751; d London, April 23, 1824).

English writer, connoisseur and collector (see fig.). He was the son of a clergyman from a wealthy dynasty of iron-masters. His father died in 1764, and shortly afterwards he inherited a considerable estate from his uncle, which ensured his financial independence. He was a sickly child and was educated at home, becoming well versed in Classical history, Latin and Greek. In 1772 he travelled in France and Italy and was abroad again in 1776, touring Switzerland with the landscape painter John Robert Cozens. The following year he travelled to Sicily on an archaeological expedition taking with him the painters Philipp Hackert and his pupil, the amateur artist Charles Gore (1729–1807). Knight kept a detailed journal (Weimar, Goethe- & Schiller-Archv) illustrated by his companions and on his return to England commissioned Cozens and Thomas Hearne to paint watercolours (London, BM) from Hackert’s and Gore’s sketches (London, BM). It seems probable that the journal was intended for publication and that the expedition may have had an entrepreneurial aspect, as archaeology was a fashionable subject and the Sicilian sites largely unexplored....

Article

Malevich, Kazimir  

Troels Andersen

(Severinovich)

(b Kiev, Feb 26, 1878; d Leningrad [now St Petersburg], May 15, 1935).

Russian painter, printmaker, decorative artist and writer of Ukranian birth. One of the pioneers of abstract art, Malevich was a central figure in a succession of avant-garde movements during the period of the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 and immediately after. The style of severe geometric abstraction with which he is most closely associated, Suprematism (see fig.), was a leading force in the development of Constructivism, the repercussions of which continued to be felt throughout the 20th century. His work was suppressed in Soviet Russia in the 1930s and remained little known during the following two decades. The reassessment of his reputation in the West from the mid-1950s was matched by the renewed influence of his work on the paintings of Ad Reinhardt and on developments such as Zero, Hard-edge painting and Minimalism.

Article

Marxism  

William H. Shaw and Charles Saumarez Smith

Term for the body of social theory based on the work of the German socialist and political economist Karl Marx (1818–83) and his collaborator Friedrich Engels (1820–95). In addition to giving rise to an important political movement, it has also had profound implications for the understanding of art.

As a student in Berlin, Marx associated with a group of radicals inspired by the idealist philosophy of Hegel. After university he worked for the liberal Cologne paper Rheinische Zeitung; the paper was suppressed in 1843, and Marx moved to Paris, where he became involved in communist politics. In 1844 he met Engels, and the two subsequently summarized their basic ideas in the Communist Manifesto (1848), a pamphlet for the short-lived Communist League. Both returned to Germany to work on the Neue Rheinische Zeitung, but after the defeat of the European revolutions of 1848–9 they suspended their political and revolutionary activities. Marx moved to London and pursued his economic studies at the British Library, while Engels worked for 20 years for his family’s manufacturing firm in Manchester. In ...

Article

Marxism in America  

Benjamin Flowers

Term for the diverse body of social theory based on the work of the German socialist and political economist Karl Marx (1818–83) and his collaborator Friedrich Engels (1820–95). Although commonly associated with political movements, Marxism also had an important impact on cultural production. Marxism continues to influence both the creation of art and architecture in the USA, and perhaps more importantly in this geographic and social context, its reception.

Marx, a voluminous thinker and writer, did not leave behind a major body of work addressing art. It was the project of many of those who came after Marx to articulate how Marxism, as a mode of social analysis, could shed light on the processes of artistic production and the interpretation of its significance. While Marx was confident that art was one of the ‘ideological forms’ through which class conflict took place, he also recognized that artistic development in societies did not depend exclusively on the form of social organization. The task for the heirs of the Marxist tradition was to determine how his insights into the ways capitalism revolutionized social relations, economic conditions, and political reality offered new approaches to understanding the labours of art and architecture....

Article

Mondrian [Mondriaan], Piet (er Cornelis)  

H. Henkels

(b Amersfoort, March 7, 1872; d New York, Feb 1, 1944).

Dutch painter, theorist, and draughtsman. His work marks the transition at the start of the 20th century from the Hague school and Symbolism to Neo-Impressionism and Cubism. His key position within the international avant-garde is determined by works produced after 1920. He set out his theory in the periodical of Stijl, De, in a series of articles that were summarized in a separate booklet published in Paris in 1920 under the title Le Néo-plasticisme (see Neo-plasticism) by Léonce Rosenberg. The essence of Mondrian’s ideas is that painting, composed of the most fundamental aspects of line and colour, must set an example to the other arts for achieving a society in which art as such has no place but belongs instead to the total realization of ‘beauty’. The representation of the universal, dynamic pulse of life, also expressed in modern jazz and the metropolis, was Mondrian’s point of departure. Even in his lifetime he was regarded as the founder of the most ...

Article

Nietzsche, Friedrich  

Alexander Nehamas

(Wilhelm)

(b Röcken, Saxony, Oct 15, 1844; d Weimar, Aug 25, 1900).

German philosopher. Having taught philology at the University of Basle from 1869 to 1879, he retired because of poor health and devoted the rest of his life to travelling and writing his major philosophical works. He collapsed in Turin in 1889, perhaps because of syphilis, and was cared for by his sister Elizabeth Förster-Nietzsche until his death. Nietzsche’s early works, particularly Die Geburt der Tragödie (1872), were influenced by German Romanticism, especially by Arthur Schopenhauer and Richard Wagner. He renounced that influence in his late works, notably Also sprach Zarathustra (1883–5), Jenseits von Gut und Böse (1886), Zur Genealogie der Moral (1887), Der Wille zur Macht (1888; a selection of unpublished notes compiled by his sister) and Ecce homo (written 1888, pubd 1908).

Throughout his brief but extraordinarily productive career, Nietzsche addressed the problem of ‘nihilism’. He understood nihilism to be the state in which, though an absolute standard of value has lost its power, the need for absolute standards still exists. Accordingly, nihilism implies the inability to prefer any course of action over any other. Nietzsche believed that European culture had become nihilist when the Enlightenment undermined the unquestioned authority of religion (‘the death of God’) but provided no alternatives to it. Nietzsche used the ...

Article

Pater, Walter  

Richard Wollheim

(Horatio)

(b London, Aug 4, 1839; d Oxford, July 30, 1894).

English writer, critic and man of letters. He was educated at the University of Oxford, and in 1864 he was elected to a fellowship at Brasenose College, where he remained until his death. He was a highly conscientious college tutor and a frequent university lecturer, lecturing mostly on philosophy and sometimes on Classical art. In 1873 Pater published Studies in the History of the Renaissance (later renamed The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry), which included essays on Sandro Botticelli, Michelangelo as a poet, Leonardo da Vinci, and Johann Joachim Winckelmann, whose devotion to paganism and to male beauty in all its forms captivated Pater. For the third edition Pater added ‘The School of Giorgione’, in which he claimed that the representation of sound in particular, and synaesthesia generally, was central to early 16th-century Venetian painting. What secured The Renaissance fame, or notoriety, was the six-page ‘Conclusion’, which was taken as advocating a form of extreme, if refined, hedonism in both the conduct of life and the appreciation of art. The ‘Conclusion’ became the gospel for what the poet William Butler Yeats called the ‘tragic generation’, of which Oscar Wilde was representative, and it became central to the doctrine of ...

Article

Price, Sir Uvedale  

Martin Postle

(b 1747; d Yazor, Hereford & Worcs, Sept 14, 1829).

English landowner and writer. He was one of the leading promoters of the Picturesque, a quasi-aesthetic theory concerning the codification of types of landscape; this enjoyed a brief popularity in England at the end of the 18th century. In 1794 Price published An Essay on the Picturesque. The book was written to expand and redefine observations on the nature of Picturesque Beauty made during the 1770s and 1780s by the Rev. William Gilpin. In his essay of 1794 Price employed the term Picturesque to describe a category of landscape that evoked sensations that were not contained within the existing polarities of Sublime and Beautiful, established earlier in the century by Edmund Burke (A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful; 1757). According to Price ‘the two opposite qualities of roughness, and of sudden variation, joined to that of irregularity, are the most efficient causes of the picturesque’. Price loved systems and organized objects in nature—trees, animals and dwellings—into tables according to their level of picturesqueness. Thus in his view hovels are more picturesque than cottages, cows more picturesque than horses, idle peasants more picturesque than working ones, and so on. Price’s theories inspired, among other things, Thomas Rowlandson’s satirical illustrations to ...

Article

Quatremère de Quincy, Antoine(-Chrysosthôme)  

Yvonne Luke

(b Paris, Oct 28, 1755; d Paris, Dec 28, 1849).

French writer and theorist. Born into a wealthy Jansenist family, he abandoned his law studies in order to train as a sculptor, entering the studio of Guillaume Coustou (ii), where he was taught by Coustou’s pupil Pierre Julien. Between 1776 and 1780, and again in 1783–4, Quatremère lived in Rome (where he met Antonio Canova); in 1779 he visited Naples in the company of Jacques-Louis David. In Italy he was struck by the survival of the Baroque style, despite the continuing archaeological discoveries of Classical remains. He became interested in the early Classical style of Greek sculpture and contemporaneous architecture, upon which much of his later aesthetic theory was to be grounded. Convinced that a revival of the arts depended on a wider knowledge of Classical civilization, he used archaeological research throughout his life to educate and so promote a return to the antique style.

During the 1780s Quatremère concerned himself mostly with architecture, winning a competition organized by the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres for his essay on the origins and nature of Egyptian architecture (...